At the end of August, I started writing a series of posts about how I changed my life called, "Life Change Steps".
Step One was about the food you will eat. But, I realized that is actually not step one; that is The Goal. Ideally, you'll eventually want to get to that and have that be how you're doing life on a (mostly) daily basis. But, a lot happened between the start and that for me, so, I've reworked those posts and will actually be giving you Step One today.
STEP ONE - Know Your Why
I'm sure you've heard this before. "Make a list of your goals", "Write down all the reasons you want to get healthy", etc. However, when asked to do this in the past, it always fell flat for me. My reasons were always superficial, "So, I can feel good about myself" or "So, I can look thin" or "So I can (unrealistically) weigh 103 lbs" etc. But reasons such as those never held up for me when faced with a donut or candy or any sort of stress or detour. I'd much rather eat that cookie dough than look thin. The phrase, "Nothing tastes as good as being thin feels" is totally a lie!
No, to change my life, took much more. My "Healthy Tipping Point" was the day I had my 3rd endometriosis surgery in less than 2 years. I felt hopeless and depressed. Here I was, a girl in her late 20's with her whole life ahead of her... or did she? Facing 2 incurable diseases with no end of surgeries in sight will change you, that's for sure. I knew the only answer from traditional western medicine was to have surgery every 1.5 years to remove it. I wasn't satisfied with that. I simply wasn't going to accept that. That day, I got my hands on any and all research I could about natural treatments for PCOS and endometriosis. That day, little did I realize, was the start of my new life.
See, you have to dig deeper than surface. You have to find the thing that terrifies you (see, sometimes fear as a motivator can be good!). The thing that tells you, "There is no other way" - your health matters and must be put first. You matter. Your body matters. You must learn to appreciate it and take care of it. Love yourself.
So, my first tip is simply this: get a physical, ask your family about their health history, get food sensitivity testing, etc. Do whatever you need to do to find a health condition or something that will shock you into realizing you must make a life change today!
My favorite episode of the show "The Biggest Loser" is when they go see the Dr who reveals to them all the health conditions they face (diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc). It opens their eyes to what they're doing to themselves. It gives them their why! In this season, after only 8 weeks of making daily healthy choices, one of the contestants got completely rid of his diabetes!!! That, my friend, will keep you motivated far more than fitting into any former jeans you've owned.
So, with that, here are my "Why"s for a healthy lifestyle & for staying away from things like soy, sugar, gluten & chemical-treated food:
1. Physically don't feel good (headaches, stomachaches, more endometriosis & PCOS pain, tougher menstrual cycles, etc)
2. Weight gain of - pure fat!
3. Increases my risk of Type 2 diabetes
4. Creates bondage to the devil and barriers to my closets family/friends and God
5. It causes me to not feel good about myself & the choices I'm making
6. Triggers feelings of depression & hopeless in me
7. I start hearing whispers like "You can't write a health blog, you're a fraud!"
8. I believe God has told me that I am "Healed, Healthy, Whole"; I want to live as if that's true.
9. I look noticeably "run down" or "tired" to others
10. My body doesn't work optimally because it's not fueled properly (overwhelming fatigue, workouts are harder than usual, etc)
11. I'm not in tune with myself and my body. How things are affecting me.
12. Increases my risk of kidney stones
13. My tastebuds get clouded. I'm no longer able to enjoy the good-tasting flavors of foods in their natural state.
14. It triggers old binge eating habits & causes everything to come crashing down (including my hormones, insulin levels, etc)
15. It costs too much money to eat junk food!
16. I'm unable to feel satisfied because I'm never truly full eating empty calories.
17. I don't want to face another surgery!
18. I want to see what my body can do at it's full potential!
19. I want to inspire others to experience truly loving themselves, regardless of weight
20. Its easier to keep saying "No, thank you" than to try to use restraint after 1 bite or 1 "free" meal
21. ...and counting... (I'm constantly adding to my "why" list)
Take some time to really find out your why. I'd love to hear from you all on what your why's are. Leave me a comment with your list of why's & let me know if there anything I can do to help you with your lifestyle goals & changes!
Once you've got your list, carry it with you. When temptation arises, pull out your list & start reading your reasons! That should do the trick. And one last thing... should you choose to eat something that goes against your "why" list, don't sweat it. Enjoy it and move on - guilt free!
This is life, after all, and you won't be able to be perfect.
Healthy & Happy Holidays to You and Yours!